Lentil Kale Soup

What's better on a cold day then a warm bowl of homemade soup? Especially when you have a cold and cough after the flu?

For lunchtime I put together this yummy easy soup that's ready in about 30-35 minutes.No need for hours and hours of stewing. Oh and completely vegan! 

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 of an onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery
  • 1L of vegetable stock
  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • handful of kale (or spinach would work)
  • spices of choice. I used tumeric, coriander seed and cumin. I also used a pinch of Asafoetida, which is commonly used in Indian dishes to add flavour and is a digestive aid. If you don't care if this is vegan you can used chicken or beef stock and you would get some of the flavour missing when using vegetable stock. 

Directions:

  1. Heat the pot with the olive oil at the bottom. 
  2. Add the diced onions, garlic, celery and carrot. Cook until a little soft and the onions are a bit translucent. 
  3. Add the stock and lentils and spices you have chosen.
  4. Cook for about 20-25 minutes until the lentils are soft.
  5. Add the kale/spinach in the last 5 minutes. Tip, chop them into smaller pieces, making it easier when eating. 
  6. Serve and enjoy. 

What's some of your favourite things to throw in your soup?

Love, 

Jen The Bitchin' Housewife

 

KVASS - The "New" Old Probiotic Drink?

I'm currently in the process of waiting for my Kombucha to ferment (watch for that blog post!) and some how Kvass came across my lap. Kvass is a very very old fermented drink originally from the Ukraine dating back as far as 996 A.D. they say. Traditionally made from beets and sourdough bread, it is very popular in slavic cultures and apparently it's found in barrels on the streets of Moscow. 

As with fermented foods and drinks there are probiotics and they help aid in digestion. Wonderful for people with digestion issues, leaky gut and so on. I find the more fermented food I enjoy, the more energy I have personally. 

So anyways, I came across Kvass and thought I would give it a try, especially since it seemed pretty simple, I had the stuff on hand and only 2-3 days for fermenting time!

What you need:

  • A large jar or container with a lid.
  • Filtered water (Okay I just used water I boiled and let cool).
  • 1 teaspoon salt. I used pink himalayan.
  • 1.5-2 cups fruit. I used apples, oranges and strawberries.
  • Strainer
  • Cheesecloth (not required but nice to get the small strawberry seeds out)

Directions:

  • Mix water, salt and fruit together in jar. Leaving about 1 inch of space at the top.
  • Shake the jar a few times a day. I left it on the counter in a spot I would see and remember. 
  • Open up the jar once or twice to let off the gases. 
  • Enjoy! 

I left mine for 2 days, since I am a bit impatient, but I feel like it could benefit from another day or two. Possibly making it a little bit more fizzy. Some describe the taste as similar to beer. I believe that's probably the one made with bread, but it's a very light and fruity, part sour taste. I wasn't sure at first but every day I drink a few ounces and I actually quite like the taste! 

I just popped it in the fridge and take a swig every day. I probably should put it in a glass, but I'm not sure my family is ready to try it so I'm saving having to wash an extra dish......

Use whatever fruit you have available or try some varieties. I hate beets personally so it's unlikely I will do the traditional version!

Pink Himalayn salt

Pink Himalayn salt

After two days the fruit looks "cooked".

After two days the fruit looks "cooked".

After shaking it you can see the fizzy bubbles happening!

After shaking it you can see the fizzy bubbles happening!

When it's ready remove the fruit and compost them!

When it's ready remove the fruit and compost them!

Extra step here to run it through the cheesecloth to filter further, removing strawberry seeds and small fragments of the orange that go through the funnel. 

Extra step here to run it through the cheesecloth to filter further, removing strawberry seeds and small fragments of the orange that go through the funnel. 

Will you give it a try? Let me know what flavours you are trying!

 

Love, 

Jen

Easy Homemade Face Wash

I love stuff I can make at home for skin care. Because A) I know what in it and B) well, to be honest I hate running out of stuff and having to drag my two kids to the store. Or waiting to long before it runs out to reorder it from wherever. 

This facewash is soooooooo simple and so good for your skin. I took it camping and made my face feel fresh even when all grungy and camping. 

What you need:

  • Brewed chammomile tea. 1/2 cup
  • Castile Soap, 1/4 cup
  • Almond Oil, 1/2 tbsp
  • Lavender Essential Oil, 2-4 drops

*Tip: You can usually find all these ingredients at a health food store! And there are many many uses for all these ingredients! 

 

1.Brew the tea. I made a strong cup and let it brew a while. Chammomile is moisturizing, while being an anti imflammatory, helps retore natural pH levels and provides some sun protection even.

 I found this awesome tea EARTH TEA where they help feed starving children of the world through the United Nation World Food Programme. Their tea is also grown right here in Alberta.  I mean you can use whatever tea brand you want, but supporting local farmers AND feeding starving children, I'm in. 

 

2. Put castile soap into a medium bowl. I used the lavender here, but you can use whichever suits you or you have. Lots of recipes I've seen calls for the baby one. I have also heard to avoid the citrus. I'll get to why I used Lavender a little further down. 

3.Add Almond oil. Almond Oil is an antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti inflammatory. It helps reduce irritation, itching and promote healing of the skin and scars you may have.

4. Add a few drops of Lavender essential oil. Maybe you're really into oils and want to add you own mix and that rocks. I used lavender soap and oil because Lavender is also an antiseptic and anti fungal. Additionally it is a calming scent for nerves and anxiety. Maybe stress is adding to your blemishes and calming those nerves helps with breakouts? Try it out?

5. Add cooled tea to mix and put into containers. I started with this small batch. I got a small bottle and put the rest in a  glass jar. Just make sure to shake before using. It comes out a bit runny so be careful, but it's super super sudsy! 


Enjoy and let me know how it works out!

Love,

Jen

100 Calorie Protein Brownie

For a while I've been seeing the Jillian Michaels brownie floating around the internet. First I will say, Jillian I love you. Okay that's been said, now I can say, um your 86 calorie brownie is great and all, except so small! And no protein! Sure if I broke my brownie into 16 pieces instead of 9 bigger ones they would only be 50 calories! But when I want a brownie, I want a damn brownie! So here it is. 100 calorie protein packed brownie that's bigger then 1/16th of a pan!!!!

brownies 031

brownies 031

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup cocoa (45g)
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder (60g)
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (4 egg whites)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • stevia to taste ( a little goes a long way)
  • 1/4 tsp salt, I used pink himalayan
  • 2/3 cup 0% greek yogurt (140g)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin (Like me throwing in my fall themed recipes here?)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips. (45g) I used regular old semi sweet, but use dark or whatever you like.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  2. Boil some water in a small pot on the stove, with a larger metal bowl overtop. See the picture below.
  3. Spray 8" pan with non stick spray.
  4. Mix cocoa, protein powder, baking powder and salt in one bowl.
  5. Mix the egg white, vanilla, stevia, greek yogurt and pumpkin in another bowl.
  6. Melt chocolate chips in the bowl over boiling water. You can also do this in the microwave, but you can risk burning the chocolate, plus it cooling too soon before mixing. But do what you like.
  7. Once the chocolate is melted, turn the burner off and quickly add the egg white, pumpkin, yogurt mix to it. Mix well.
  8. Now add the cocoa, protein powder mix.
  9. Pour mixture into pan and spread evenly.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes. Ever damn brownie recipe will tell you "don't over bake". So check at 15 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the middle and should come out clean, if not it needs more time. But dont go over 20 I'd say. They can be dry from the lack of fat in them.
  11. Cut into 9 pieces and enjoy!!!

Macros for real sized brownie piece (Sorry JM): Cal 100, Fat 2.3g, Carb 8.5g (half JM's tiny piece I might add), Protein 10.4g, Fiber 2.9g

brownies 007

brownies 007

Sorry it's blurry, but the best picture I took to describe what I'm doing here. Small pot with boiling water, larger sized bowl overtop so the steam from the boiling water is heating the chocolate. This will prevent burning the chocolate.

brownies 024

brownies 024